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Guest Message by DevFuse

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I need some purchase advice, please

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1 reply to this topic

#1 ca95965


    USMB Regular

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  • Berry Creek, Butte County

Posted 22 August 2004 - 02:59 PM

Hi, you Suburu Geni-

I am the one who wrote the other day regarding starting and running problems on my '87 4x4 wagon. The guy coming over to work on it tomorrow says it's simply not getting fire, and he took off the rotor cap and indicated that it was the piece that the rotor cap fits TO that needs replacing.

I mentioned before that this particular part's shaft or whatever comes up to meet the rotor cap is factory awry - anyone who messes around in there has to know that or he can spend hours.

So, given part and labor unknown and the fact that I ran that thing practically to death for a year and a have taking my partner hundreds of miles back and forth for cancer treatments then ultimately to visit him as he died near his family and HMO... I was brutal on the car.

Today my father called me to say he was going to look at an '88, also a 4x4 wagon (I do need that to get to the other side of my property, just very very rocky, plus when we do get snow up this way it's a big help.). It has brand new mud/snow tires, is a DL, and because of something you guys taught him my dad looked underneath at the CV (after that I can't read my own scribble) and found it was cracked.

It is of course impossible to know it all but we're looking for some gut reactions or intuitive things - does the CV thing have to come in two pieces and glued together, is it available in one piece, does the axle have to come out in order to replace it (I'm assuming that's why it would come in two halves, to save that)?

The '87 does indeed hold some memories, and, I find, more sentimenatlity than I need to have. It's very important for me to have reliable transportation up here. I just wiped the dust of his footprints off about an hour ago. I think I am finished with seeing those and remembering how he tried to rest back there and was groaning in agony the last time I brought him home. Gruesome, huh? I have planted flowers.. anyway, I don't want sentiment to be any part of this.

The '87 was $750 and was a great deal from his sister when she was getting a new car, and we needed something more comfy for him to ride to his treatments in. The '88 is selling for $1250, though since the seller didn't know about that CV thing I imagine that there will be some talk regarding price. It's apparently in lovely condition in and out, and even has AIR CONDITIONING. Yikes, almost too much to bear, this magnificence.

Oh, that's enough out of me for now.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Heck, I don't know why I opted not to have members write me, if anyone has advice and wants to the address is: ca95965@earthlink.net.


#2 GeneralDisorder


    Elite Master of the Subaru

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  • Portland

Posted 22 August 2004 - 03:38 PM

So from what I can gather of your post, you are concerned that the CV boot (the rubber part) is cracked? Is the boot actually broken open or just cracking from age? Small cracks in the surface of the rubber are normal for old boots, and they could last a considerable amount of time before they fail. It would of course be an excelent idea to have the boots replaced if they are showing age, and definately have them replaced if they are broken open. There are split boots manufactured that can be glued/bolted/zippered etc together, but they rarely last very long and no one will recommend you use them. The axle (assuming it's still good and not making noises) can be rebooted with new boots and new grease. The parts are trivially inexpensive, I think around $7 to $12 depending on where you buy the boots, per boot. So at most you are looking at $25 per axle in parts. Labor is a different story, as the axle must be removed (or if you are really good and know subaru's, it can be done by just pulling the innter joint off the transmission), so you are looking at approximately 30 minutes to an hour of labor for each side - depending on the skill of the mechanic. Figure about $50 in parts and new grease, and a couple hours shop time at the most. Dealership shop time rates are going to be around $80 per hour, while non-dealerships will probably be cheaper.

The other option is to just have new axles installed.... since the axles have to come out to be rebooted anyway, it might be worth it if you plan to pay for shop time to have it done. The labor is essencially the same either way. Autozone sells brand new axles for $90 each. Get the NEW ones, not the remaned units.

Check with the owner to see when the last time the timing belts were done - they are due every 60k miles, and usually the tensioners, main seals, cam shaft seals, and the water pump are wanting serviced at that time as well. Full timeing belt procedure and all labor would be around $300 - $600 depending on where you go and what all is done.

On another note, you can pick up a used distributor for your 87 (that thing that the cap attaches to), and have your "guy" install it. Try the marketplace here on this board - you'll probably find someone with one for $50 or less. If all else fails, you can get a rebuilt one from roo-builders in Colorado for around $150



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